Idle Air Intake

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by DayBird, Jan 30, 2005.

  1. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

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    I seem to have a problem with the Idle Air Intake on my 1999 Ford Taurus. It's been having a hard time starting in the mornings. I thought it might be bad gas. I had filled the car up with cheap walmart gas late one night when nothing else was open. (Read the "I was carded" thread on Homesteading Questions.) I bought some STP gas treatment and it didn't do the trick. The check engine light has come on a couple of times. It almost immediately goes back off. I had it checked at the auto parts store and their computer said I have an Idle Air Intake problem. I thought it was something simple that maybe I could clean or replace. I'm not very mechanically inclined and usually leave everything to a mechanic. The guy at the parts store said there was nothing I could do and that I would have to take the car to a Ford Dealer to have them order the part I need and that they would replace it. He said it would cost me at least $500 to have them order it and replace it.

    It always starts but it chugs for a while. It sounds like the lawn mower did when my wife put too much oil in it and I had to clean it out and change the spark plug and air filter. If I try to change gears while it's chugging, it goes dead. If I hold the accelerator above 2,000 rpm for several seconds everything is fine. It's just a hassle. Normally, it idles at about 1,000 rpm but while it's chugging it's down below 500.

    What's going on and can I fix it?
     
  2. ~Misha

    ~Misha Live life to it's fullest

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    It sounds like a problem with the idle air control valve (IAC). The fact that it's intermittant I don't think that it's plugged up, sounds like it's either a wiring problem or the control part of the valve is starting to fail. Unfortunately, on your car, I'm not sure where it is or how easy it would be to replace. The part should be available after-market. If it's not too expensive or a hassle, I'd have someone replace the valve before you take it to the dealer. But if the valve is expensive, it's prob worth the time and effort to take it to Ford to hook it up and see what they say. Otherwise, your out a very expensive part that you can't return.

    Best wishes
    Bob (dh to Misha)
     

  3. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

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    Again, I'm showing my ignorance. What does "after-market" mean?

    Once the car has been driven and/or revved up above 2000 rpm, there is no problem. At first, I thought it might have been water in the gas line that was freezing. That has happened to me before with cheap gas, but STP did the trick then. Twice I've had problems when I got off of work and started home, after the car has sat for 9 hours.
     
  4. daeve

    daeve Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like the guy at the parts store is full of it. :no: Not saying that it couldn't be just what he says but to say it is something ONLY a Ford dealer can handle and that it would be over $500 right off the bat is BS.

    Just a few of the possibilities that come to mind are: The IAC (yep could be that. but it can tested by any compentent shop and it isn't that expensive nor that hard to get to to repair or replace). Loose or torn intake plenum. Several different sensors (air intake, water temp, block temp, O2). A glitch in the ECC. Wiring (connector got water in it and corroded it, body or engine or sensor ground gotten rusty). Injector(s) fouled (from bad gas). Deposits on plugs (causing them to fail to fire good till they get hot). Gas in the oil causing a loss of compression (smell the dip stick and see if you smell gas). Or...

    Just a few quick questions that may make it easier to figure this one out.

    Is this a cold start problem or does it happen each time you try to crank the car?

    Does the car run ok after it warms up, or does it "chug" when started after it is already warm?

    How long has it been since the last oil and filter change?

    How many miles does the engine have on it?

    Have you checked, cleaned or replaced the distributor cap and rotor? If it has a cap and rotor. Can't remember if the 99 Taurus has a dist or it it is coil pack.

    I'm just outside of Weaver which is north (almost surrounded by actually) of Anniston so don't think we are too far apart.
     
  5. Cosmic

    Cosmic Well-Known Member

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    Also a good thing to consider is the fuel filter. Has it ever been replaced??? If not, you are about due.

    The loss of power, but you can rev the idle and then appear to have some power, tends to fit with a fuel filter that needs to be replaced. One of the first thing to eliminate. Is cheap and quick to do.

    Could be a number of things. Is it carb or fuel injected?

    Could be fuel or spark. I tend to eliminate the fuel related first. Could even be a worn fuel pump. If fuel filter / pump will also tend to show up when going up hills as power loss.

    Can get sort of a quick problem of this nature, if you have just about run the gas tank dry recently. I had no problem a few days ago, got one now.
     
  6. DrippingSprings

    DrippingSprings In Remembrance

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    Idle air control vavle costs 43 dollars or 69 for your vehicle depending on whether it is sohc or dohc (look on valve cover for big letters)

    Gp Sorenson parts number

    77910081 for dohc
    77910160 for single overhead

    the dohc is cheapest.

    this part is really easy to swap out. most anyone with mechanical ability at all could do it.

    It could very possibly be the Mass Air flow as well. It is in the big tube running from your air filter to the engine. It will have a square plug with wires going in it. The best way to check it is to tap it with a screw driver while the vehicle is running. If it stumbles or misses its the mass air flow.

    gp sorenson part number

    749526
    cost 79 with exchange.
    all you need is a screwdriver to loosen the clamp on the big hose it is in.

    Or it could be the throttle position sensor
    gp sorenson part number 7793659 for 33 bucks

    All you need is to take two small screws out. My 12 year old has changed them many a time.

    Your best bet is to find someone with a snap on scanner. He can run trouble codes and then actually run tests on the component before you buy or remove it. They usually charge about thirty to fifty to do it. then go buy you a 15 dollars Haynes Manual for your car. Once you know what part you need most of it can be done by anyone with any mechanical ability at all.

    These parts store scanner just dont cut it. There is a reason I have over twenty five hundred in mine. It actually works. What he did was run the codes only. You can and will get alot of false codes. The trick is being able to run a check on the vehicle while the part is still on it and you cant do that with a 50 dollar machine.
     
  7. chris774

    chris774 Member

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    these books are life savers i have one for every car i have owned and for some of the family,s cars great for a guy like me with mechanical ability but limited automotive knowledge.
     
  8. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I prefer Chiltons over Haynes, if its a car I intend to keep I usually end up with both. Check out Ebay for both Haynes and Chiltons.
     
  9. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    When was the intake air filter last changed on this vehicle?
     
  10. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    What was the code number scanned?Take that number to a website of Ford folks,chances are someones already been there/done that and can tell you exactly what it is and how to fix it.
    On my Jetta the code made no sense in the Autozone computer,but at the VW site on the web of VW officionados it made LOTS of sense and they were able to tell me how to fix it for about 12 bucks.This was a MULTI hundred dollar repair at the stealership!

    BooBoo
     
  11. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

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    Just a few quick questions that may make it easier to figure this one out.

    Is this a cold start problem or does it happen each time you try to crank the car?
    Does the car run ok after it warms up, or does it "chug" when started after it is already warm?

    It's a cold start problem. Usually in the morning, about 6am when I'm leaving for work. If I stop somewhere, it starts right back up. If it has sat all day at work and it's cold outside, it will chug for a bit. The light came back on this morning when I stopped at a redlight and it started to chug again, but the car had only been cranked about 10 minutes.


    How long has it been since the last oil and filter change?

    It was changed two week ago. I've been very good about having the oil changed every 3000 miles. That happens at least once every 4 weeks. I drive 1000 miles every week just going back and forth to work 6 times a week and going out to our property on my off day.


    How many miles does the engine have on it? 103654


    Have you checked, cleaned or replaced the distributor cap and rotor? no
     
  12. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    The question I asked was "When was the intake air filter last changed on this vehicle?" I am asking about the filter that is on top of the engine that filters the air going into the engine. I think that filter is clogged/dirty and the engine is trying to start starved for air thus creating a too rich condition causing the engine to struggle until the computer takes over.
     
  13. DrippingSprings

    DrippingSprings In Remembrance

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    very well could be a air charge temp sensor causing it to choke itself out another 20-30 buck problem. Is there anyone you know that can use a digital voltmeter? Those that I have listed can all be tested really easy. Anyone that can use a 20 dollar voltmeter(must be digital) can remove the sensors in question and run it to see what kind of measurement you have and it will tell you whether its bad or not. Again a chilton or haynes will be well worth the price at less than 20 bucks. They make one for your vehicle as well as one for testing components etc etc
     
  14. daeve

    daeve Well-Known Member

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    At that milage you have several things that need doing if they haven't already been done.

    When were the plugs last replaced?

    A friend of mine came in one night and the car was running fine. Cut if off and that was it. Had 120,000 on it and had never changed the plugs. The gap was a quarter of an inch on a couple of them.

    Also as you said in the original post you bought some cheap gas before this started. You could have deposits on the plugs that are fouling them until the heat builds up enough for them to start firing correctly.

    New plugs, plug wires, dist cap and rotor button are all in order if they haven't been replaced. The timing belt also needs to be replaced if not already done.

    Also as agmantoo said check/replace the intake air filter. It needs replacing every 10,000 to 30,000 depending on driving conditions. Or as the manual calls for.

    A Haynes or Chiltons manual for the car is a must if you are going to do anything to it. And at a 100k+ miles you are going to start doing a lot of work on it soon. At least that has been my experience with Fords. And I own several.

    DrippingSprings has given you good advice on the sensors too. But you need someone who has some experience with electronics to check them properly. Electrical parts are usually nonreturnable at the parts houses so doing shot-gunning or guess work gets expensive fast.

    Another thing that goes out at around 100k miles is the alternator. May last to 120k or 130k but you'll start getting headlights dimming a bit with idle rpm soon if you aren't already.

    mightybooboo is also pointing you in a good direction with the code and ford forum. If this is a common problem they should be able to tell you what to look for and do.

    HTH
     
  15. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

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    I changed the airfilter on December 7th. I don't know alot about the mechanical things, but I'm a stickler about keeping records.

    I just got back from the grocery store. The light came on again so I stopped by Advance Auto again. This ticket now says:

    Vehicle Scanned
    Global OBDII
    Vehicle

    DTC (Codes)

    P1507
    Manf Cntrl Veh.Spd.
    Idle Speed Control
    Auxiliary Inputs

    DTC Pending (Codes)
    No Faults Detected


    The guy at the parts store said I need to have the transmission diagnosed. I had the transmission serviced by Express Oil Change in September.
     
  16. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    carburetor cleaner in a pressurized can available at an auto discount store.
    Ajax is out. However GM once put out a service bulletin to introduce Bon Ami into the inlet air to try to get the rings to seat in some oil burners they manufactured. ;)
     
  17. Countrybumpkin

    Countrybumpkin Well-Known Member

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    We have a '94 Taurus w/ the 3.8 in it-it would do that, and all that was wrong was that the throttle body needed cleaned...I make it a point to check it every so many oil changes now...hopefully you'll get lucky and its something cheap like that!
     
  18. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

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    You've saved me $450 from what the first guy told me.

    I bought the book and the carburator cleaner and cleaned everything. I'm sure it needed it anyhow but the light came back on and it still chugged. I ordered the control yesterday ($50) and put it on this morning. It was seated right on top. Two bolts and a wire. The bolts were no problem for me. I pulled and pulled trying to get the wire off and came in the house frustrated. My darling wife walked out in the yard and just slipped it off. I reattached it to the new control and everything is working great. Thanks again. Thank you so much.

    Robert
     
  19. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    I am glad the repair went satisfactorily. However, I remain curious. Did you deviate from the instructions? You were to "Removing the IAC and giving it, and the throttle body, a good cleaning may be all that is needed to get it working again." Did you try cleaning the IAC initially or did you only clean the throttle body?
     
  20. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    Good call Agmantoo!

    BooBoo